Database in the Post Modern World

Collectors often have a focus or specific genre in their deck collecting. I tend to like plant and animal decks, but I also like decks with history or art history in them. One of the finest decks for a ramble through art history is the glorious PoMo Tarot – A Postmodern Deck For Navigating The Next Millennium by Brian Williams. I miss Brian’s creativity and fresh outlook, he always had such terrific ideas for decks.


It contains 78 Cards plus a paperback book in a slipcase. PoMo stands for “Post Modern” and this deck has a very modern sensibility with reference to current culture. As well, the Minor Arcana are caricatures of well-known art and sculpture throughout history.

In the book, each card has phrases and colloquialisms from different cultures and languages to explain it, as well as some quirky art and renaming of the classic suits. They are large cards with shiny lamination and a compact but interesting little book. This definitely gets applause for original thought in both art interpretation and interpretation of archetype. It’s a very unusual set and not for everybody. Of course, it’s for me!


Brian Williams is an artist I like, I like his line art and subtle colouring and backgrounds. The deck is timeless, and humorous, and still a delight 23 years after it was published in 1994. Brian died in 2002 and I feel him slipping away as the latest tarot decks get published. Don’t forget him, he was a special artist and writer with much depth and research in his writing.

This is out-of-print but if you enjoy art and art history, this is a winner and can be scrounged up in the secondary market; anyone who references my beloved Giorgio de Chirico is a winner.

What, you don’t know Giorgio? Go thee explore…

4 thoughts on “Database in the Post Modern World

  1. He he, I almost like it enough to get just on the basis of a suit of TV’s! And thank you for sending me off to google Giorgio de Chirico – I can see how he was referenced in some of the Lo Scarabeo decks, too, like the Tarot of Metamorphosis… 😉

    • The suit of Guns seems to bother people in the PoMo, much like it did in the Victoria Regina deck, but when people don’t even look at or experience a deck, yet come out guns-a-blazing (pun) hating one thing or another, it is tiresome. The substance is there for those who are less reactionary.

      Giorgio turns up everywhere. Before Magritte and Dali there was de Chirico. I saw a modern artist in a magazine once and wrote him to say his work reminded me of Giorgio’s and he confirmed that he was an influence. He filters down into current art.

  2. I’m not familiar with the POMO (though it looks delightful), but I have and appreciate Williams’ Ship of Fools Tarot. He was one of those creators who put as much effort into the companion book as the deck itself (a rarity, in my opinion).
    Giorgio is a quite an influence – I saw where they even used his art in a Playstation game (if you can get a young person’s attention, you’ve accomplished a lot). 🙂

    • I have the Ship of Fools deck too–very interesting, and I also bought the Sebastian Brant book–Dover publishes this classic although you can get a free eBook of it. The book is very clever and humorous, no wonder Brain was attracted to creating a deck using it as inspiration.

      Ah no, they’ve got Giorgio in a PlayStation game? Sacrilege.

      Brian did a great version of the Minchiate that I like to use with random Bible passages, and he was the writer on the Light and Shadow which I have. The only deck of his I don’t have is the Renaissance, I wasn’t fussed about the pips.

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